“When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.” – Kristin Neff
Hustling is synonymous with our twenties. We’re eager, hungry, determined, and confident in our ability to take on the world.
We work late and often forget to eat lunch. Google Calendar and Kate Spade planners are essentials in our survival kit. We are constantly on the move and if you say “stop” we don’t hear you.
And good for us, ya know. Good for us as we chase after our dreams and become the people our parents told us we could be when we were younger. We’re doing things. We’re not waiting for change; we are the change. So what if we’re exhausted, and sometimes a little cuckoo? No big deal, right?
While our passion pursuits are often inspiring and admirable, we forget to think about ourselves and practice any type of self-care. You say, “Ain’t no one got time for that!” I say, “Make time for it.”
I’m not saying to book a trip and hang out in salt caves (although that sounds pretty amazing). There are things you can do every day to build wellness into your routine so you’re not spiraling through your journey to the top.
Commit to one or commit to all, but if you can commit to your company – why not also commit to yourself?
We take care of so many things, but we often dismiss taking care of our minds. Mental health is still taboo, and it’s our responsibility to help soften that typecast. “Everyone wants to be happy. What most people mean when they say they want happiness is that they want to feel a positive sense of mental well-being. Mental wellness however, requires some effort, in the same way physical health does.”
“Give yourself five minutes in the morning or afternoon to space out and breathe for a moment. Even if you get distracted, practice is all it takes. Use meditation apps like Calm or Headspace to get started. If you need to talk to someone and do some deeper work, consider talking with a psychologist our counselor
At the very least, do one thing every day that qualifies as relaxation. Whether that’s taking a walk or reading a chapter of your favorite book, you owe it to yourself.
While we may forget to eat lunch occasionally, we need to give our bodies sustenance that delivers the right energy to chase our dreams. It’s important to think wisely about our food choices. One simple habit that makes a huge difference is to drink a ton of water.
For instance, if you’re feeling moody, drink some water. “Drinking water makes us feel so refreshed that it actually improves our state of mind. You don’t even have to be severely in need of it to benefit: Even mild dehydration has been shown to negatively impact moods.”
Outside of what we put into your bodies, we have to stay in shape to keep going. Start yoga, strength training, barre, martial arts, pilates, boxing, and indoor cycling classes, and more with ClassPass – they offer a variety of choices without the monthly membership commitment.
Walk and take the stairs when possible. For a physical wellness perk that’s a little less taxing, treat yourself to a massage because self-care doesn’t always have to be strenuous.
As we maneuver through our ventures and professional circles, we can’t forget about how this effects our wallets. Money is often the biggest stressor in anyone’s life, but there are ways we can get a better handle on our personal finances.
Now, there are tons of apps out there that help monitor spending and send you alerts when things are getting out of control. Consider free apps like Clarity Money, to access snapshot of your financial picture, help cancel wasteful accounts, and deliver insights to help you make better decisions.
Meanwhile, consider safety nets like insurance: dwelling, auto, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance. Additionally, plan for your retirement. Don’t be that entrepreneur who, at 60, regrets not contributing to their Solo 401(k) at 29. Meanwhile, if investing scares you, apps like Acorns are disrupting micro-investing by helping you invest your spare change.
A big key to our overall stability and happiness is to cultivate positive relationships. Sure, sometimes people can add to our stress, but those that matter still deserve a semblance of our authentic attention.
Don’t forget to call your parents or your grandparents. No one lives forever, so make time for them while they’re here. Make dinner plans with the friend you haven’t seen in months; make time even if you don’t have time. Leave the office with a team member and have a genuine conversation over coffee and without email. Go on a date with your significant other or that Bumble match you’ve been eyeing.
It’s important to maintain relationships. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Relationships help us learn about ourselves, keep us fulfilled, and are good barometers for our cuckoo levels. More importantly, as we get older, the people we keep in our lives are people we really love and care about. We’ve gotten rid of everything else that no longer serves us. So, these people are the real MVPs and those relationships are worth nurturing.
Sonya Matejko is a NYC-based writer who spends her time falling in love, falling apart, and traveling the world in between. She writes about love, traveling, and navigating through life in your twenties. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, and more, with one of her articles being shared over half a million times. Sonya also founded Single Strides, a home for hopeless romantics and wanderlusts. Her utmost goal is to inspire people to believe in love and to believe in themselves. Sonya currently resides in New York City working in advertising with her fluffy cat. She can often be found in local coffee shops or on a rooftop.